Reader Question: Choose Five Rides

This is a continuation from Cheryl’s email last Wednesday. If you’d like to ask a question, email me at! I’d love to hear your questions, tips and tricks!

One more question!!! If you could only go on five rides at Walt Disney World, which ones would they be?

Another great question! At least I can go to every park!

Full disclosure – I’m a big fan of thrill rides. I grew up an avid Disney fan, so I won’t be trading my Disney vacations for Universal anytime soon, but I definitely skew in the direction of adrenaline-boosting rides. While many of Disney’s rides are family oriented, you do get the best of both worlds – the magic of Disney and a few thrill rides.

So, let’s start.

1. Tower of Terror

My number one ride is Tower of Terror. First, there’s some nostalgia. Let’s hop in the time machine and go back to Spring 2005. I was in the marching band and on my first trip to California. We were performing at Disneyland and spending the day in the park. My friends peer pressured me into going on Tower of Terror. “It’s nothing,” they exclaimed. I didn’t want to miss out and as a sophomore in high school, did not want to look like a baby, so I went on. I loved it. This single ride was my initiation into thrill rides.

Now, I can’t go to Walt Disney World without riding Tower of Terror. I love the theming. Nothing beats riding the Tower of Terror at night and feeling like you just stepped foot into an episode of The Twilight Zone. I also love the drop and the quick glimpse of Hollywood Studios before plunging 13 stories. In the past few years, Disney has randomized the ride. No ride on Tower of Terror is the same – which makes it truly unique.

2) Expedition Everest

I mentioned that I love thrill rides, right? Well this one slightly edges out number three. It’s got everything – the dramatic climb, crazy twists and turns, a big drop, and it even goes backwards! It even passes the g-force test! Nothing screams thrill like the feeling of g-force pushing you into your seat! Ever try and lift your leg while plummeting down the 80-foot drop? Well, you can’t, because of the g-force! Unlike the other rides, I only get to go on Expedition Everest once per trip. The line is usually pretty long and my family only goes to Animal Kingdom one day during our vacation. I guess that adds to the novelty a bit!

3) Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster

The Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster is near and dear to my heart. It’s another ride that I used to psyche IMG_0315myself out on. In fact, my sister and I once made it all the way to the loading zone before we wussed out and left. Finally, we decided that we were going on. We loved it. Nothing beats the anxious wait and countdown right before accelerating from 0 to 60. The ride starts with a big loop and sends you through numerous twists, turns and corkscrews! The best part – it’s all in the dark, illuminated by a few blacklights. Much like Space Mountain, you don’t know what’s coming next! Before switching to EPCOT for New Year’s Eve, we used to celebrate the new year in Hollywood Studios. After the clock struck 12, my sister and I would head to Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster to start the year right!

4) Thunder Mountain

Thunder Mountain has been one of my favorite rides for years. Of course, as I’ve gotten older and my idea of “thrill ride” has evolved, it’s taken a bit of a step back; but Thunder Mountain remains a huge favorite of mine. My sister and dad both love it, and going on Thunder Mountain on Christmas Day has become a ritual. We ride it at least three times every trip, sometimes more. Nothing beats late-night Extra Magic Hours, that’s when we get to go on the most! While it may not be a huge thrill like Expedition Everest, it’s still a fun ride!

5) Haunted Mansion

Okay, this is far from a thrill ride, but I wouldn’t leave Magic Kingdom without going on the Haunted Mansion. It’s a classic. Sure, there are plenty of classics at Magic Kingdom – Dumbo and Small World to name a few – but the Haunted Mansion has always been a huge favorite of mine. I think I’ve always loved how big the ride is and how it all (seemingly) fits in that mansion! My favorite part of the ride is the cemetery. There’s so many aspects and layers in that one scene of the ride that really completes the theming. Growing up I loved the ballroom. I was fascinated by the ghosts appearing.

Those are my top 5. Of course, everyone is different. Do you agree or disagree with my top 5? What are your top 5 rides at Walt Disney World?



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